23 COSTA BLANCA municipalities will go into special measures from midnight(October 31) to try to stem the spike in COVID-19 cases.

Elche and Orihuela City have already had two weeks of the tighter rules and they will be joined by Alcoy, Crevillente, Elda, Ibi, Petrer, and Pinoso.

The whole of the Orihuela heath department has also been included which takes in Albatera, Algorfa, Almoradi, Benejuzar, Benferri, Bigastro, Callosa de Segura, Catral, Cox, Daya Nueva, Daya Vieja, Dolores, Granja de Rocamora, Jacarilla, Rafal , Redovan and San Isidro in addition to Orihuela City

Despite being in the Orihuela municipality, the Orihuela Costa and Torremendo come under the Torrevieja health area and will continue operating unchanged under the terms of the region-wide midnight curfew.

Valencian Health Minister, Ana Barcelo said: “These measures are necessary and proportionate as we have studied the infection rates from the Public Health directorate and what they also mean to maintaining local health services.”

The restrictions concentrate on limiting capacity numbers, where bars, restaurants and shops can only operate at a third of their normal indoor numbers.

Outside terraces will be restricted to 50 per cent occupancy, with self-service and buffets banned.

Numbers are curbed for sports halls, entertainment venues, weddings, funerals, and wakes.

Barcelo added that she did not ‘foresee’ imposing localised lockdowns which has been the case in other parts of Spain.

Despite the new measures, there are no travel restrictions except for the Valencian Community seven-day ban that came into force today on entering or leaving the region.

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